|In 2008, security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the assassinated Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena, revealed Star-Telegram Staff Writer Jack Douglas Jr.|
The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.
|Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on.|
'Sure,' said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a 'friendly crowd.' The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.
Doors opened to the public at 10 a.m., and for the first hour security officers scanned each person who came in and checked their belongings in a process that kept movement of the long lines at a crawl. Then, about 11 a.m., an order came down to allow the people in without being checked.
Several Dallas police officers said it worried them that the arena was packed with people who got in without even a cursory inspection.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because, they said, the order was made by federal officials who were in charge of security at the event. 'How can you not be concerned in this day and age,' said one policeman.
|In 1981, Spanish democracy faltered as soldiers led by Lt. As Colonel Antonio Tejero seized control of Spain's parliament to launch a coup d'etat.|
|In 1945, the US flag was lowered over Iwo Jima by the 28th Regiment of the 5th Marines. The extinct volcano offered a strategic vantage point for the ongoing battle for control of the island. Lying in the north-west Pacific Ocean 650 miles (1,045 kms) from Tokyo, Iwo Jima would serve as a useful base for long-range fighters to cover B-29 Superfortresses in a bombing campaign against the Japan's capital. By now, the island hopping strategy was running in reverse, and Americans were in ful retreat from Mount Suribachi as the battle for control of Japanese-held Iwo Jima raged on.|
|In 1777, Benjamin Franklin is arrested in London while on a last desperate mission to appeal to Parliament for 'an equitable solution to the grievances between the colonies and the Crown.' Because Franklin still has influential friends in England, he is not executed; instead, he is sent to prison, and, in September of 1788, will be transported to the newly established Botany Bay penal colony in Australia.|